France skipper Hugo Lloris, explained the reason France isn’t capable of playing possession-based football in modern times.
The days of that French flair that France had us all used to back when Zinedine Zidane led that golden generation are long gone, according to Hugo Lloris this new squad can’t play like that for various reasons.
This possession-based football style was practically a trademark of the France National Team during the start of the millennium, there were many midfield and attacking players who loved to play this style of football and many of them even played at the same club for many years.
Arsene Wenger saw this coming and he decided to sign French stars like Emmanuel Petit, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Silvain Wiltord, Thierry Henry, and Nicolas Anelka.
All of these players were the base for one of the best French squads in football history, the same one that won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.
This same squad reached its veteran days alongside Zinedine Zidane as their leader, and got to play another World Cup final back in 2006 but lost it against Italy.
That football was beautiful to look at, it was based on ball possession all the time.
9 – Hugo Lloris made 9 saves against the Netherlands, a record for a goalkeeper with France in a single game in the last 10 years. Wall. pic.twitter.com/2okVKGtArV
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 16, 2018
But the nature of the players who form today’s French World Cup champions, are very different when you compare them with that first great generation of players.
This France relies a lot more on attacking waves that are dependent of the midfielders’ defensive game, they need to get Pogba or Kante recovering the ball and they have quick forwards who can score a goal in a matter of seconds.
It’s safe to say that they currently have the fastest forward in the world with Kylian Mbappé, a player who seems destined to build one of the biggest careers of any French footballer in history.
After France lost their first important tournament this year once they won the World Cup last summer, the criticism against this style that lacks ball possession came pouring like rain and many of the players who are essential parts of the team needed to explain the reason for the latest upset.
France lost their chance to reach the UEFA Nations League’s Final Four after losing against Holland last weekend, they got eliminated after the Dutch tied this Monday’s match against Germany and left everybody in France with their hearts broken.
Hugo Lloris on last night's 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands 🗣
"The tactic for the second half was to keep the game at 0-1 and to get a set-piece in the last 10 minutes."
That's World Champions France he's talking about there… pic.twitter.com/vYMkdUsp8N
— TeamFA (@TeamFA) November 17, 2018
As a way to explain this upsetting result right after the World Cup success, skipper Hugo Lloris explained it ahead of France’s friendly against Uruguay this Tuesday.
“Possession-based game is not in French football’s DNA,” said Lloris via Mundo Deportivo ahead of France’s friendly vs Uruguay.
“The essential part of football is realism. We are capable of offering many different things on the field because we have a large variety of talented players.”
“The first thing we need to consider from the match against Holland, is that our rival played a great match. Then, the French National Team has a reputation for playing aggressive football and they were better than us even in that department.”
“If you don’t respect the fundamentals and you are not intense enough to win the matches, doing something important on the pitch becomes really difficult.”
“Every single Nations League match is decisive and we didn’t play the match we needed to play. This elimination needs to help us for the future and for the European Championship qualifiers,” he concluded.
France captain Hugo Lloris:
"Uruguay have one of the best attacking couples in the world. We will try to respond to the demands." pic.twitter.com/Ah3lxEzRhA
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) November 19, 2018
Do you agree with Hugo Lloris, or is France capable of playing possession-based football? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.